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Course Outline

Arizona law requires the following with respect to PFDs (life jackets).

  • All vessels, including paddleboards and kayaks, must have at least one USCG–approved wearable life jacket for each person on board. The only exceptions are sailboards and racing shells.
  • In addition to the above requirements, vessels 16 feet in length or longer, except a canoe or kayak, must have one USCG–approved throwable device on board and readily accessible.
  • All children 12 years of age and younger must wear a USCG–approved life jacket while underway on any vessel. The life jacket must be fastened according to the manufacturer’s recommended use and must fit the child properly.
  • Each person on a PWC must wear a USCG–approved life jacket, and all closures of the life jacket must be fastened or secured according to the manufacturer’s design or recommended use and must be adjusted for a snug fit.
  • Each person who is wakesurfing or is being towed behind a vessel on water skis or a similar device must wear a life jacket.
  • Hybrid inflatable USCG–approved life jackets, which use foam and inflation for buoyancy, are approved for children. Non-hybrid inflatable USCG–approved life jackets (no foam) are authorized only for persons at least 16 years old.
  • All life jackets must be in good and serviceable condition, must be readily accessible, and must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for life jackets is based on body weight and chest size.

Person fitting a PFD on a child
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